Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Do I Need a Jockstrap?


I hate ruffles.

Ok, maybe a bit harsh. Maybe I should say, ruffles aren't really my style. Ruffles equal sweet and cute. They make me giggle and think of the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Can't you just see a cross-dressing Pillsbury Dough Boy all decked out in...ruffles?!

Maybe I'm going overboard. But, it's hard to look like a sexy bad ass (always my goal) when you have layers of foofy, poofy fabric around your neck and arms.

And, for those of us that aren't blessed with a legs from here to eternity like what's-her-face who is constantly showing up at awards shows in couture monstrosities (Charlize Theron?)...those ruffles can and will eat you alive.

Now that I have made my case against the killer ruffle, you can imagine how over-the-moon I've been with the revival of menswear for women that started last spring, inched into fall, and rages on into spring 2009.



I'm a bit conflicted even calling it a "trend" since we all know that man-style dressing is nothing new. Think 1930s Katharine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich in their tailored suits and ties; Diane Keaton's ties, vests, and boyfriend pants in Annie Hall; and gangster-inspired fashion from Bonnie and Clyde.

Then there are designers, like Ann Demeulemeester, who have always done the menswear-for-women thing, despite the girly-girlishness of fashion over the past few years.




Still, it's hard to deny the influx of menswear on women's runways. Designers known for the femininity of their lines, like Carolina Herrera, featured decidedly masculine pieces in their fall collections. Additionally, men's designers like Obedient Sons (now Obedient Sons and Daughters) and Band of Outsiders (now with the women's Boy line) have women's lines that take a page from their predecessors -- albeit with a feminine touch.



Although there really isn't much I don't like in this movement, there are some things I heart. The boyfriend jacket, which we will see even more this spring, has a vibe that speaks to my inner prep school rebel (um, don't we all have an inner prep school rebel?). We've seen menswear for women more tailored in the past, but the slouchy jacket, along with this season's slouchy cardigans, has that "I don't give a f&%#" attitude (even though we know you really do).



My closet is also filled with vests. Weird, you say? Maybe. But, slap that puppy over a white t-shirt, pair with skinny jeans and boots, flats, stilletos -- wahlah! Instant chic. Now, not all vests are created equal. I am averse to the sweetheart neckline. I want a v-neck and I want it in pinstripe, houndstooth, or heather. I like them short, long (lately longer), open or buttoned (lately opened). You can have fun with accessories too...a sparkly or chunky necklace or a spare neck and over-the-top ghetto-fabulous hoop earrings or, my personal favorite, a chain necklace and silver cuff bracelet. The beauty in this getup is its simplicity.



The slouchy boyfriend pant/jean, I have mixed feeling about...I think it gives me flashbacks (no pun intended) to my college days dancing around in oversize jeans to thumping house music in overcrowded abandoned warehouses. Still, there is something very comforting and appealing about them. Talk to me in a month...

So,"We get it," you say. "We know you have a more masculine aesthetic. But why drinking so much hatorade when it comes to the pretty little ruffle? What did our dainty little friend ever do to you?" Maybe I don't have to hate the ruffle that much. Maybe, just maybe, I'll make friends with that sheer silk blouse with deconstructed waves cascading down the front...but you bet your ass there will be a vest over it.